The Earl and Countess of Wessex have surprised well-wishers gathered outside the gates of Buckingham Palace this afternoon – after the beloved couple said The Queen’s passing left the Royal Family ‘overwhelmed’ by emotions.

The Royals were applauded by their fans and they told the Prince of Wales and Sophie that it was a great loss. They went on an unplanned walkabout at the palace gates today, shortly after King Charles III met with mourners who waited along the Thames to witness the Queen being-in-state at Westminster.

His youngest son, the Queen, could be heard asking mourners their origins and whether they are making their way towards Green Park to plant flowers. He then told them that the Queen would ‘appreciate’ the number of people paying their respects – while his wife was given bouquets and a stuffed toy as she shook hands with those gathered.

Just hours earlier, Earl of Wessex released an emotional statement in which he stated that his family had grown up sharing their parents, particularly our mama, with the nation and her realms.  

It was lovely to take the time to bid farewell to Balmoral. But now, it’s time to let others say goodbye. 

“We were overwhelmed by the tsunami of emotions and people’s love for this special, unique and always there person. 

Sophie, Countess of Wessex meeting royal fans outside the gates of Buckingham Palace

Sophie, Countess-of-Wessex and royal supporters outside Buckingham Palace

Prince Edward meeting mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Prince Edward meets mourners outside Buckingham Palace today

Sophie received flowers and shook the hands of well-wishers on a surprise walkabout today

Sophie got flowers today and was surprised by well-wishers when she shook hands with them.

She talked to mourners who told the couple 'sorry for your loss' on a surprise walkabout

On surprise walksabouts, she talked with mourners.

Edward met well-wishers outside the gates of Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Edward received well wishes from his friends outside Buckingham Palace.

“We are here for her now, unite in sorrow. You don’t know how important your support means to me.

“The passing of the Queen has created an inconceivable hole in our lives. Sophie and I take great pleasure watching James and Louise have fun in the same places and doing the things that their grandparents enjoyed. 

“Given the time my mama allowed us to spend with her, it’s not surprising that she enjoyed seeing those passions grow. These happy moments, these times spent together have become incredibly precious for each of us.

‘May God bless her Majesty’ and may her memory last long, even as she passes the baton which she carries for the past 70+ years to my brother Charles. “Long live the King.”

On Thursday, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie greeted mourners in Manchester as thousands turned out to pay tribute to the Queen. A day earlier, they were part the procession that carried the Queen’s coffin to Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace.

Sophie, the Countess from Wessex, was in Manchester when she met Josh. Josh was a young griever, who was eager to be with Sue.

Sue recounted the moment she met Josh. Josh replied, “Can I have a hug ?”.?” After they hugged, he requested a picture. Josh has signed the bouquet but I’m also listed on it.

Josh, who is nonverbal, was asked what that moment felt like. He replied “Happy.”

Edward and Sophie, along with their children Lady Louse, and Viscount Severn paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Hall earlier in the week.

It comes after King Charles and his son Prince William greeted mourners in the queue for the Queen’s lying in state.

On Saturday, hundreds of Londoners waited in Lambeth to cheer and applaud Charles and William’s arrival. Then, the couple thanked all those who waited to pay respects at Westminster Hall to the monarch. A woman gave condolences and an individual shouted, “I’m shocked!”

As Charles and William were moving down the line, dozens of people shouted “hip hop hooray” while they stopped for a moment with each other. A number of people telephoned relatives and friends on the phone after seeing what had happened. As each passing, others shouted “God Save the King” and “God Save the Prince of Wales”.

William was heard talking about how many people waited, and whether or not they could keep warm. After meeting William, several people wept and one woman said to him: “You will be a brillant king one of these days.” 

Charles left William before him, in cars that were surrounded by police officers.

The waiting line for the lying in condition grew in Southwark Park. A steady stream of people continued to arrive at the other end.

A sign posted at the end of the line informed mourners that there would be a minimum 14 hour wait. This was generally met with relief from well-wishers. One group even cheered as they passed.

After the King had thanked the emergency services staff during his mourning, he made the announcement.

Charles met Sir Mark Rowley of London’s Metropolitan Police and was briefed both by Jane Connors, Deputy Commissioner and Karen Findlay. These officers are responsible for leading London’s police operations before and during the Queen’s funeral. Suella Braverman (Home Secretary) and Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London) were both present.

This morning, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport issued a warning to people about the queue tracker that warned them not to travel in order to get to the front of the waiting state queue. The guidance was changed at 8am to say that the queue had reached Southwark Park and the wait times were ‘at most 24 hours’.

Even though it was very sunny in central London the temperatures held steady at 12C, especially in the shade.

Alfie, 11 years old, was from Lancashire and wore his Scouts uniform with Platinum Jubilee medal to get in the line for the lie-in state.

Karen Todd Todd, Alfie’s grandmother, stated that Alfie truly wanted to give her respects and that he was going to wear the uniform of a Scout to do so. We came to this historic occasion because we believe it is a significant moment and an important moment in human history. This will be something they’ll remember for their entire lives. We only have one chance to make it happen.

The Queen’s grandkids will be standing guard at her coffin later. William’s brother, the Duke of Sussex will join him in Westminster Hall wearing uniform.

Harry was present on the front lines during his two tours in Afghanistan. He has been refused the opportunity to don his uniform, which he publically mourns for, as he’s no longer working royalty. However, royal sources claim that the King will allow his youngest son to wear uniform at the vigil. They say he will sit at the bottom of the coffin and William will hold the head.

Zara Tindall will accompany William and Peter Phillips. Harry will join Princesses Beatrice & Eugenie with Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.

The Queen’s four children, Charles, Princess Royal, Earl of Wessex and the Duke of York took part last night in their own vigil.

The funeral will take place on Monday. Politicians and other royal dignitaries are expected to be there throughout the weekend.

This story is breaking news. Stay tuned for more.